Posted: April 7, 2004


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Peg Hood was the fairy godmother of the Delaware Republican Party, stubby and plain, her keen eye always checking to see that all was arranged for going to the grand ball that is politics.

Her magic wand was the work she did, tirelessly and diligently, for decades on end.

She never had a fancy title. She never had the money for flashy campaign contributions.

No matter. For Peg Hood, for her memorial service Wednesday afternoon, the Republicans came out by the score, giving her the respect they reserve for their best, for the stars like the late U.S. Sen. William V. Roth Jr. or John W. Rollins Sr.

Margaret Roddy "Peg" Hood was 82 when she died Saturday in her Elsmere home. She was memorialized at the Calvary Presbyterian Church near Newport, a solid, proper church as no-frills as she was.

It was a farewell that would have met Peg Hood's standards. In politics, you never get a hall bigger than you can fill, and this one certainly was.

The eulogies came from the likes of former Gov. Pierre S. du Pont, National Committeewoman Priscilla B. Rakestraw and former state Treasurer Janet C. Rzewnicki.

"What an honor it is to be here," Pete du Pont said.

Peg Hood was remembered as the hardest working, most dedicated volunteer there could be, a good heart who stuffed the envelopes and made the telephone calls and wrote out the name tags. It made her the state party's Republican of the Year in 1996.

She also was on the staff for Legislative Hall, Republican headquarters and U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle's campaign. A highlight of her life was participating in the 1992 Republican national convention in Houston as an alternate.

Peg Hood did things her way, and so did everybody else.

Rzewnicki remembered how Peg Hood took charge for her first campaign for treasurer in 1982 when there were envelopes to be stuffed and mailed. Peg Hood told Rzewnicki she was doing it wrong. Then she put on her trademark rubber thumb and demonstrated a technique that let her seal 10 envelopes to Rzewnicki's one.

"She said, if we use your method, we're still going to be sealing envelopes when the election is over," Rzewnicki recalled.

Even du Pont got the Peg Hood treatment. "She was a friend and very serious adviser -- 'some tie you have on today, Pete,'" he remembered.

Peg Hood did not let people down. "I'll do it, was her motto," Rakestraw said.

This is an election year. The envelopes will get stuffed, the phone calls will be made, and every single one of them will be a reminder of Peg Hood.